Swift justice delivered in two St. Charles cases

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2000

L’Observateur / July 1, 2000

HAHNVILLE – Harry Morel, district attorney for the 29th Judicial District, announced two convictions this week in unrelated cases. Each case wasdecided in less than a half-hour of deliberation.

Richard M. Randolph, of 121 Lakewood Drive Apt. 36, Luling, was convictedof attempted aggravated oral sexual battery.

The jury took only 28 minutes on June 27 to return a guilty verdict against Randolph. He was accused of attempting to force a 10-year-old girl toperform oral sex on him.

According to Assistant District Attorney Jerry Rome, the victim and an 11-year-old girl friend were at Randolph’s apartment on Jan. 29 gettinghelp on a school project from Randolph’s girlfriend, Andrea Melancon.

Randolph, who had been sleeping in the bedroom, entered the living room naked, grabbed the older girl and threw her into the wall, then commanded her to leave.

He then grabbed the younger girl, held her down on the sofa and attempted to force himself on her. She struggled, broke away and fled.Morel said he hoped the conviction would empower other victims of sexual assault to come forward.

“Unfortunately, young victims often feel as if they are somehow at fault or they will not be believed. I hope parents will use this case as aspringboard to frankly discuss with their children the need to be forthcoming about these types of situations.”Randolph’s sentencing by Judge Emile St. Pierre is set Aug. 25. He faces amaximum potential term of 10 years at hard labor.

In the other case, Troy Gorden of Boutte was convicted June 26 for distribution of cocaine.

Assistant District Attorney Howat Peters reported that Gorden’s jury returned its guilty verdict after only 16 minutes of deliberation.

Peters was one of those arrested during the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office”Operation Summertime Blues” after being caught on videotape selling crack cocaine to an undercover agent on June 9, 1999.

In addition, Peters successfully prosecuted Gorden on Jan. 18 ofpossession of cocaine after Gorden, on Nov. 11, 1998, was caught during atraffic stop with cocaine in his possession. Gorden, at that time, was outon bond awaiting trial when he sold cocaine to the undercover agents. Hisrecord also includes two prior drug convictions.

As a multiple-offender, Gorden faces the possibility of life in prison. Hissentencing from Judge Robert Chaisson is set Aug. 23.Morel commented, “Our information indicates, and his record verifies, that Troy Gorden is a major dealer in St. Charles Parish. We can’t take thechance that he will get back on the street and continue to spread his poison.”

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